London hospital provides first video consultation service for specialist care in England

A CNN cameraman films a video consultation

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (London, UK) has become the first NHS Trust in England (UK) to offer video consultations for cardiology patients—enabling them to have specialist advice they need without the hassle of travelling to hospital. However, hospital appointments will continue to be provided for patients who are required to see a healthcare professional in person, if they don’t have a smartphone or would prefer an onsite appointment.

A press release reports that after only a few weeks into the three-month pilot, the new video consultation service—supported by Q doctor—is receiving a good uptake and very positive feedback from patients, who are already seeing the benefits.

Zeeshan Khawaja (Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, London, UK), the consultant cardiologist trialling the new service for the trust, comments: “We believe we are the first NHS Trust in the country to offer video consultations for specialist care. This is a fantastic service for patients who have been discharged from our A&E, and referred for a follow-up cardiac appointment. Video appointments enable us as specialist healthcare professionals to engage rapidly with these patients to ensure that they get the care they need in a timely manner. We can provide important expert advice and arrange further tests where necessary without the need for patients to return to the hospital, having already been seen in the emergency department.”

According to the press release, Q Doctor is UK-based, online video system is a free app is already being used by 75 GP practices and other Trusts across the country. However, thanks to this new partnership, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust is the first NHS Trust to offer hospital appointments via video link for patients who require cardiology outpatient support.

Chris Whittle, founder of Q Doctor, comments: “It is great to see modernisation of a health service traditionally delivered in person; the transition to secure video makes it very convenient for patients and we are very excited to see a specialist service putting it into practice. As well as reducing the practical challenges and costs of travelling for specialist advice for patients, it also enables hospitals to continue delivering high-quality care, whilst creating efficiencies within overstretched NHS budgets.”


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